Whether you are new to caviar, looking for the answer to your crossword clue, or simply curious about the peculiar caviar spoons, we’ve got you covered.
If you’re here to solve your crossword puzzle, let us save you some time. The answer is usually nacre but it can also be nacres, pearl, or mother-of-pearl.
In this guide, we explore the subject of caviar spoons. Which are best and recommended to use and which aren’t? Read on to learn more.
- What is a Caviar Spoon Made Of?
- Metal Spoons: The Forbidden Ones
- Different Kinds of Caviar Spoons
- Mother of Pearl (Nacre) Caviar Spoon
- Wood Caviar Spoon
- Gold Caviar Spoon
- Animal Horn Caviar Spoon
- Plastic Caviar Spoon
- Glass Caviar Spoon
- Ivory & Bone Caviar Spoon
- Marble Caviar Spoon
- Best Size for Caviar Spoons
- Best Caviar Spoon Shape
- Caviar Spoon Prices
- Key Takeaways
What is a Caviar Spoon Made Of?
Caviar is an expensive delicacy that is traditionally enjoyed with spoons that you do not see every day.
They are small, particular, and have a mysterious iridescent, and marbly appearance.
Typically, a caviar spoon is made of nacre – the same material as pearls. This is why nacre is also referred to as the Mother of Pearl.
However, caviar is also enjoyed using spoons made of wood, gold, and animal horns, albeit, not as frequently.
But now you may wonder, why do we use a pearl spoon to eat caviar? Why can’t you eat caviar with a metal spoon? Because of science and gastronomy.
Nacre, gold, wood, and horns are inert substances, which means that they do not react chemically.
Other materials, such as metal, create a chemical reaction with the caviar that distorts its taste. This is important because caviar is so special and expensive that enjoyers do not want to disrupt the tastes and flavors – not even marginally.
Metal Spoons: The Forbidden Ones
Metals such as aluminum, silver, nickel, and bronze (copper) are a big no-no when it comes to serving and eating caviar. If that’s all you got, you are better off using your hands – literally.
Without getting too technical, metal spoons are not inert – they react chemically at every opportunity. In the case of caviar, the problematic chemical reaction is rapid oxidation.
So why do we use a pearl spoon for caviar?
The contact with metal utensils creates a pungent and overpowering metallic taste, which will ruin your caviar experience.
Remember, caviar is very delicate, complex, and sensitive so using the recommended utensils is of the essence. Read on to learn what those are.
Different Kinds of Caviar Spoons
If you’ve made it this far, you’re probably wondering what kind of spoon you should use for caviar.
While there are a number of choices, we recommend the Mother of Pearl caviar spoons. They are perfect for the job, machine friendly, and quite cheap to buy.
Mother of Pearl (Nacre) Caviar Spoon
The most common type of caviar spoons is made of nacre, the inner lining of shells and shellfish. This material is also referred to as the Mother of Pearl because it’s the same substance pearls are naturally made from.
Nacre is the inner shell layer of mollusks such as clams, oysters, mussels, and snails as pictured below.
It is shiny, smooth in texture, and carries iridescent color properties that make it quite intriguing. It has a beautiful marbled appearance as well.
Mother of Pearl caviar spoons is also referred to as Shell Caviar spoons, Shellfish Caviar spoons, and Oyster Caviar spoons. All three refer to spoons made of nacre.
Wood Caviar Spoon
Wood is the second most popular material used for caviar spoons. This natural naturally rustic material is acceptable and won’t tamper with the taste of caviar.
Make sure to use a wooden spoon with a quality finish otherwise it may leave a bit of a dry and earthy flavor. A low-quality wooden caviar spoon will also be absorbent and retain flavors between meals.
Gold Caviar Spoon
Gold is a metal famous for its scarcity as well as its many interesting properties. One of the said properties is that gold is inert – it is not chemically reactive – a key to a great caviar spoon.
Gold caviar spoons are not as common due to how expensive they are but they are a great option. Many companies are now making spoons with just a gold bowl in order to make them more affordable.
Animal Horn Caviar Spoon
Animal horns were once the plastic of their time. Horns can be heated and molded in various shapes and forms.
Cow, buffalo, and sheep horns are used to make animal horn caviar spoons.
Although not the most popular caviar spoon option, it is definitely a great one due to its texture and sturdiness.
The material is very beautiful and has been used to create art and jewelry for centuries.
Plastic Caviar Spoon
Can you eat caviar with a plastic spoon? Surprisingly, yes (who would have thought?).
Although not at the top of the recommendation list, they are quite frequently used, even at the parties of the rich and famous.
Although cheap, plastic does not affect the flavor of sturgeon caviar.
Glass Caviar Spoon
Glass is another perfectly acceptable material to serve and eat caviar with, although it is not very common.
This material does not impact the taste of caviar but it is, however, quite a fragile material.
Ivory & Bone Caviar Spoon
Bones and ivory have been used for centuries to create tools, art, and jewelry. Bone and ivory are excellent materials for caviar and other delicacies.
Given the environmental impact, these products may have, these types of spoons are quite rare.
Marble Caviar Spoon
Marble caviar spoons don’t really exist. Many people confuse the Mother of Pearl spoons with marble due to their similar appearance.
In theory, marble spoons could be used to enjoy caviar.
Best Size for Caviar Spoons
Caviar spoons come in a small range of sizes ranging from 5cm (2in) to 12cm (4.75in).
The most common sizes are approximately 7cm, 10cm, and 12cm. For reference, a teaspoon is approximately 12-14cm (4.8-5.4in).
That being said, the best size caviar spoon will depend on your personal preference, the amount you are eating, and how you are eating it.
Best Caviar Spoon Shape
Caviar spoons come in two styles. The classic shallow spoon and the paddle.
The spoons are what you typically see being used and sold. They are short with a shallow bowl at the end.
Paddles are considered a bit more fancy and luxurious and typically twice as long as your average caviar spoon.
Practically speaking, the classic spoon style with a shallow bowl is the best caviar spoon shape.
Caviar Spoon Prices
Below, we summarize the prices of each type of caviar spoon. Prices are approximate for one 12cm (4.8in) spoon.
Caviar spoons are generally very cheap, about $10-$15 a piece with the exception of gold spoons.
We recommend getting a nice set of nacre spoons, which won’t cost more than $30-$100 depending on the size of the set.
Gold spoon prices can vary greatly as they can be anything from gold-plated to entirely pure gold.
|Price (Low)||Price (High)|
|Mother of Pearl (Nacre)||$10||$100+|
|Ivory & Bone||N/A||N/A|
If you’re looking to break the bank, have a look at the most expensive caviar spoon in the world.
The “Dragon Spoon” made of 18K pure gold and diamonds by Paul Amey can be yours for just $675,000 USD.
- Caviar is best consumed with inert materials
- Mother of Pearl (nacre) is the recommended type of caviar spoon
- Metal spoons are not advisable as they ruin the taste of the caviar
- Caviar can also be enjoyed using wood, gold, animal horn, plastic, glass, ivory, and bone spoons
- The typical size of a caviar spoon is approximately 10-12cm
- Caviar spoons can be purchased for as little as $10 per spoon
- CaviarKelp.com Research
- Royal Society of Chemistry – Hierarchical structure and mechanical properties of nacre: a review
- IOPscience – The oxidation of metals
- Journal of Catalysis – CO Oxidation over Supported Gold Catalysts—“Inert” and “Active” Support Materials and Their Role for the Oxygen Supply during Reaction
- Materials Science and Engineering – Static and dynamic mechanical properties of cattle horns